Dr. Ashley Corey
Is Botox Safe? What You Need to Know
Updated: Mar 16
Most women in their mid-thirties use botox as their go-to conversation starter. It has quickly risen to the top of the list of non-invasive cosmetic procedures in high demand worldwide due to its ability to diminish the appearance of dynamic lines and wrinkles temporarily.
Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for frown lines and crow's feet that are moderate to severe. As one of the most studied procedures in medical aesthetics, it has gained widespread acceptance and credibility. The noticeable results in enhancing facial beauty have made it a popular choice among people all over the world.
Why Do People Get Botox?
Botox, made from the same bacteria that cause botulism, is also called botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum toxin temporarily slows muscles by blocking nerve activity. Botox is used in cosmetic procedures to temporarily hide wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging skin on the face.
Compared to other, more invasive forms of cosmetic treatment, Botox is seen as a relatively risk-free procedure, according to the research on the topic.
While no medical procedure is entirely risk-free, a recent study found that complications affected less than one percent of patients when performed by an experienced injector.
Botox Injections: What to Expect
The time required for the procedure will vary according to the number of targeted areas and the amount of Botox administered. In most cases, numbing or anesthesia is unnecessary due to the small needle size used in the procedure. Your injector can target the exact areas of your face that need to be injected, making the process quick and relatively painless. Tell your doctor if you're worried about feeling pain or discomfort so they can administer a numbing agent if necessary.
A Botox procedure requires zero downtime. The areas around the injection sites may feel tender or swollen right after treatment, but you should avoid massaging them so that the Botox doesn't spread.
Pain and swelling can be alleviated with the help of a cold compress or an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol, but in most cases, people feel better within 24 hours.
Exactly How Does It Function?
After being diluted in saline, the powder is injected directly into the neuromuscular tissue. Botulinum toxins are effective because they block nerve cell signals from reaching the muscles. In essence, this prevents the muscles from contracting and thus paralyzes them.
Nerves release acetylcholine at the junction of nerve endings and muscle cells, causing the muscles to contract. For the next 24 hours, avoid touching the treated area, working up a sweat, and drinking alcohol.
So, is Botox safe?
Relatively speaking, yes Botox is safe when injected by experienced doctors and medical practitioners. Every procedure is not without risks with some of the most common side effects being redness, bruising, swelling, headaches and small bumps at the injection sites.
The maximum recommended dose in a 3 month period is 300 units. The typical patient receives 40-60 units of Botox, which is well under the max. When dosed and injected correctly, Botox is safe with minimal significant adverse reactions.